Nigella sativa oil is made from the seeds of the Nigella sativa flowers. Other names are Black-caraway, Black-cumin, Black seed, Fennel-flower, Nutmeg-flower, Roman-coriander, Kalonji or just Nigella. It is also widely known as ‘the remedy of the Prophet Muhammad’ as he once said that the ‘Black seed is a cure for every disease, except death’.
Nigella sativa is a perennial herbaceous plant and indigenous to the Mediterranean region and Persia, but is also grown now in Saudi Arabia and parts of Asia. The plant is small and rough and no longer than 3 mm in length and has finely divided leaves with a light blue to light purple or white colour. The flowers grow at the top of each branch while the leaves grow in opposite directions, each on one side of the stem. The stem of the plant can reach up to 50 cm. when its fruits are going to bloom. Nigella Sativa multiplies itself and forms a capsule containing many triangular seeds. As soon as the capsule ripens, it opens and the the seeds are exposed to the air which gives them the black colour.
The oil contains many active components including thymoquinone (TQ), an antioxidant, thymohydroquinone (THQ), dithymoquinone, a bioactive isolate, Thymol, a general disinfectant, Carvacrol, alkaloids like Nigellimine, Nigellicine and Nigellidine and Alphahederin.
In cosmetics, the cold pressed oil has dermatological effects and has the power to inhibit the growth of several bacteria. It is also used as treatment of different skin inflammatory conditions and for its antimicrobial and antioxidant properties.
Nigella sativa oil (Schwarzkümmelöl) is used in products like Body wash.